Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 have reacted to a spate of injuries suffered over the winter break by signing former Hertha BSC Berlin midfielder Raffael.
The 27-year-old Brazilian has signed on loan with the Gelsenkirchen outfit until the end of the current campaign from Ukrainian Premier League side FC Dynamo Kyiv.
Raffael will be well-known to fans in Germany on account of his four-year spell with Hertha BSC Berlin, for whom he played between 2008 and 2012, playing 140 games and scoring 33 goals.
"In view of our recent injury problems, such as the two-month lay-off suffered by Ibrahim Afellay, we have decided to re-enter the transfer market," explained the club's sporting director Horst Heldt. "We're very pleased that this deal has been concluded. Raffael will give us more options in attack and won't need any extra time to settle in, since he has already spent four years playing in Germany."
Great to be back
The player himself was delighted to take on the challenge of representing Schalke. "I feel honoured to be able to wear the Schalke shirt and am really looking forward to playing in the Bundesliga again. The fans can count on me giving it my absolute best that Schalke become successful once more", he added.
Raffael began his professional career in Switzerland with FC Chiasso in 2003. He then moved on to play for FC Zurich, before arriving in the Bundesliga with Hertha in 2008. There he experienced both highs and lows with the Old Lady, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League with a fourth-placed league finish in 2009 but also suffering relegation to the Bundesliga 2 in 2010 and 2012.